SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 205
November 5, 1999
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Availability of Local Education Partnership Funds to School Divisions|
As you may recall, Virginia is receiving $33.6 million in federal school-to-work funds between 1998 and 2002. These funds are administered by the Virginia Business-Education Partnership (VBEP), a program of the office of the Secretary of Education, Wilbert Bryant. Most of these grant funds are being awarded to school divisions through three-year Local Partnership Grants. Earlier this year, just over $6.6 million in first-year funds was awarded to 40 partnerships involving 47 school divisions during the first round of Local Partnership Grant awards. Funding is provided as short-term "seed capital" to support state and local education reform efforts that involve the community through education partnerships to improve students' school-based learning, work-based learning, and related activities. In early November, the superintendents of school divisions that have not yet received a Local Partnership Grant will receive a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the second round of Local Partnership Grants. Nearly $7.7 million is available. Every school division that has not yet received a Local Partnership Grant and submits an application that meets the requirements will receive a grant during this competition. School divisions can apply individually or join other divisions in submitting a regional partnership application. Grant amounts will be based on the student population of the area served as well as the general quality of the proposal. Estimated funding per student for each year of the grant will be $11 in year one, $8.25 in year two, and $5.50 in year three. The minimum grant amount, however, will be $30,000, regardless of a school division's student population. Each grant also has a matching requirement of 50 percent in year one, 75 percent in year two, and 100 percent in year three. (The awards of current grantees receiving less than $30,000 will be adjusted and increased when their grants are continued in the spring.) The Request for Proposals will be released in early November with a 90-day period for submissions. School division superintendents will be sent the application packet, and background materials are also being sent to school board members. Pre-application workshops are also being planned and information about those workshops will be included with the application materials. Mr. Ronald Hedlund, Executive Director of VBEP, has informed me that, in broad terms, school-to-work funds can be used to promote and finance local partnerships that are designed to achieve the following objectives: * Support increased student achievement of the Virginia Standards of Learning; * Promote student internships and other after- school work or mentoring experiences that support academic achievement and career exploration; * Strengthen vocational and technical course offerings for students who choose them; * Increase parental involvement in their children's schools and education; and * Facilitate student access to postsecondary education or training opportunities of a student's choice. Local school boards and school divisions are being encouraged to develop and implement proposals that can best serve their students in the context of the Commonwealth's overall education reform goals. Local Partnership Grant materials, as well as other information about VBEP, are available at VBEP's website at www.state.va.us/vbep. If you have any questions about the grant program, please call Mr. Hedlund at (804) 692-0244, ext. 16. PDS/jd .